“As the Lodge Turns” Episode 11: Scarlett’s Plan

 

On this episode of “As the Lodge Turns”…

 

In…love? Me? With Lucy?!

 

That can’t be right…

“Okay, okay, I probably deserved that one,” I say with a laugh, inviting her to join in. After all, she might be teasing me as payback for interrupting her walk!

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My heart sinks as my laugh fades out alone. The severity of her expression hasn’t lessened either.

 

“You do me a colossal disservice in presuming my diagnosis was given in jest. Do I seem like the sort of lady who would toy with a fool’s delicate emotions?” she asks with a quiet, but indignant, sniff.

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Scarlett may not be the nicest dog at the Lodge, or the most sincere, but she’s not the type to beat around the bush. She’s not afraid to say what she’s really thinking. If there’s any dog I can trust to be honest with me, it’s her.

But if that’s so…she believes I have feelings for Lucy!

“Princess Scarlett, I’m sorry for being so rude. I appreciate your opinion, but how can you be sure that I…feel that way?”

Scarlett leans against the fence.

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“I confess I am not entirely familiar with the wretched emotion I believe you are suffering from. However, your wish for her to be happy, as well as your intense fear that you may not be a part of that happiness, leads me to entertain such notions.”

Fear, she says. Scarlett is more perceptive than I thought.

“When you put it like that, I guess I’m being pretty selfish,” I say, pawing a little at my snout.

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I really am a clueless beagle! I’ve been afraid all this time that if Lucy likes Max better, she won’t want to be my friend anymore.

“Do not waste your time, and mine, berating yourself for not being thrilled that she may love another dog. And such a common one at that!”

Her expression suddenly changes and she quickly turns her head away from me.

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“I beg your pardon. I spoke out of turn.”

She feels bad for insulting Max? Today Scarlett is full of surprises!

“No,” I begin with a friendly bark, “I know you were probably trying to make me feel better. I appreciate the thought.”

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Cautiously she turns her dainty face back towards me. Her mouth is twisted in mock-disgust but her eyes glimmer with another emotion.

“I would encourage you not to become overly excited! It was an insult, nothing more,” she says with a flustered little bark.

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I smile a little in spite of her glare.

“Now that I know what I’m feeling, do you know what I can do to stop feeling it?”

Her dark eyes narrow, and for a minute she’s lost in her thoughts.

“Max and Lucy are playing alone tomorrow, correct?”

I nod hesitantly. What could she be planning…?

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*

 

Last night I could hardly sleep thinking about what I have to do today. Mom looked worried when I barely touched my breakfast, and when Dad tried to play ball with me I was completely distracted.

On the car ride to the Lodge, I imagine everything that might go wrong.

What if Max sees through me?

What if Scarlett is mistaken, and this will only make everything worse?

What if Lucy hates me?

As I run into the yard I’ve come to love so much, these worries are magnified. I look around for Lucy, my heart beating faster and faster till it feels ready to burst.

There she is, sunbathing at the opposite end of the yard. Whether it’s friendship or love, I’ll have to determine for myself…

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Taking a deep breath, I stifle my fears.

Here goes nothing!

…to be continued…